How Do I Keep My Turtle Pond Clean? [Step by Step Guide]

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Sharing is caring!

Maintaining the purity and freshness of the water in your turtle’s pond is among the most basic essentials you can do to ensure the animal’s continued good health and contentment. However, turtles are untidy creatures, so, it is up to us, their human guardians, to maintain the cleanliness, freshness, and overall wellbeing of their habitats.

In order to clean a turtle pond, you need to clear debris, feed the turtles appropriately, maintain a low number of turtles, ensure that the pond has enough ventilation, stock the pond with plants, and so on.

While turtle ponds need more effort to put up and maintain, they provide intriguing opportunities to bond with your pet turtles. So, let’s find out how to maintain turtles in a clean and healthy pond by paying attention to several key aspects.

How To Keep A Turtle Pond Clean?

Raising turtles in a pond may be an enjoyable and satisfying hobby… but it also has the potential to be dirty. Particularly when turtles are brought into fish ponds for the first time.

In reality, maintaining cleanliness in a turtle pond is no different from maintaining cleanliness in any other backyard pond. It’s possible that little more effort will be required.

You should do the following to maintain a clean turtle pond:

1. Remove Debris:

Maintaining a clear pond requires regular cleaning, which may be done by hand with a pond nets or pond hoover, or automatically with a water filtration process (recommended).

This will assist prevent the debris from sinking to the bottom of your pond and adding to the muck there, which will result in an increase in the purity of the water.

2. Restrict Turtle Population:

Do not introduce too many turtles to your pond, whether it be only turtles or a combination of turtle and pond fish, since this may soon have a detrimental affect on the quality of the water in your pond.

In addition to this, they will be in competition with one another for resources, which will cause unnecessary pressure in addition to other problems.

3. Avoid Overfeeding Turtles:

Never give your turtle extra meal than what it can consume in a few minutes, since this might cause waste to settle to the bottom of the pond and decompose, which can have a bad effect on the water cleanliness.

4. Include Water Plants:

Plants not only give a place for your pet turtles to hide and a source of food for them, but they also assist oxygenate the water, which, as was discussed before, contributes to the cleanliness of your pond.

Therefore, make sure that your pond has a good number of plants that are both submerged and emergent.

5. Maintain Adequate Aeration:

As was just said, you ought to ensure that your pond is adequately supplied with oxygen by installing a fountain, waterfall, airstone, or even just a pump that moves the water about in the pond.

pond will have higher quantities of helpful bacteria as a result of the additional oxygen that you provide to it. These bacteria will then decompose debris, which would maintain your pond hygienic.

6. Use the Right Sized Pond Pump:

Each hour, the water in your pond should be entirely recirculated by the pond pump you have. To put it another way, if you have a pond that is 1,000 gallons in capacity, you will need a pump that has a capacity of 1,000 gallons/hour.

See also  How to Clean a Turtle Tank (Tips That Save Time Drastically)

This will guarantee that the water in the pond is purified effectively.

Outdoor turtle pond setup guide infographic

For a printable version of this infographic, click here!

How Frequently Should You Clean A Turtle Pond?

To reiterate what was said before, it is of the highest need to maintain the cleanliness and freshness of your turtle pond in order to ensure the continued good health of your pet turtle. With that in action, it is natural to wonder how often should clean the pond.

The following is a routine that you should follow to ensure that your turtle is healthy and happy in the pond.

1. On a Daily Basis:

Make use of a little net to scoop up any food scraps  that was not consumed.

To ensure that the water in which your turtle swims is clean, you should use either a canisters filter or a powered filter. The more effective the filter is, the better it is for your turtles, unless it seems like they are trying to compete against the current.

A sturdy filtration system is essential for a turtle pond since turtle produce waste very frequently. If you have turtles in your pond, you should stir it up once per hour.

If you feel the need to raise the duration even more, you may even do it to the point where it is turned over for every 30 minutes.

2. Every Couple of Days:

If you use a scale that goes from 1 to 14, the pH level of the water where your turtle swims should be around 7 and 8.

You may either bring a water sample with you to PetSmart or purchase a test kit there. they will do the test for you.

3. Once Every Week:

It would be best if part of the dirty water in the pond was replaced with clean water. Even if the water in which your turtles swim seems to be acceptable, it may really have a high level of ammonia or nitrite.

It is necessary to clean the filter once per week, and the water should be changed on a consistent basis.

This is particularly applicable for a turtle pond, which is notorious for having filters that clog up very rapidly due to the presence of turtle excretions.

As soon as the filter becomes clogged, the quality of the water will begin to deteriorate.

4. Precautions:

You should never use detergent or soap in the turtle pond since even a little amount that remains may be harmful to your pet. Instead, you should make use of a cleaning product that was developed specifically for this objective.

When you need to clean your turtle pond, transfer your pet to a separate, clean container that you store just for this reason. Avoid using a container intended for foodstuff!

Thoroughly rinse your hands with soap and water after touching your turtle or having to clean up after it.

How To Prevent Algae Growth In A Turtle Pond?

Pond owners cite algae as their primary source of frustration more often than anything else. In addition to other difficulties that do not pose a direct danger to human life, algae cover up colorful fish and decrease oxygen-rich air.

The below are a few attempted efficient strategies that will not only assist you in treating algae, but will also assist you in preventing further growth of algae.

1. Addition Of Plants

When fish live in their natural environments, they create nutrients that are then taken by plants, leaving relatively little for algae to use.

On the other side, many ponds do not have sufficient plant life to process all of the nutrients that are generated by the turtle and the fish.

See also  Can Turtles Survive Winter In A Pond?

This results in an excessive accumulation and creates an environment that is perfect for the fast development of algae.

Whether you are just starting out and want to prevent difficulties with algae or you already have a problem that needs to be controlled, the first thing you’ll want to do is boost the amount of oxygen producing plants that are growing on the top of the pond.

In order to prevent the proliferation of algae in the pond, floating plants such as lilies and lotus may be used to provide cover and block some of the sun’s rays.

Include plants like anacharis, hornwort, and parrot’s feather that live below the surface of the water and provide oxygen for the environment.

A good rule of thumb is to add one cluster of 6 to 7 strands of an oxygenating plant to every two sq ft of surface of the water.

The bunch should then be immersed by tying it to a stone or putting it in a soil planter and placing it in the water.

All plants also take resources and starve algae. Following the first addition of plants, there is a possibility that the water may become green for a brief period of time.

2. Plant Filter

Building a plant filter is a common approach that many people use in order to bring plant growth into the water system without actually placing plants in the primary body of water.

A plant filter may be as basic as a stream or as complex as a tiny filtration body of water. Water from the larger pond is pumped down the stream at a pace that is much slower than normal.

Plants like water lettuce and water hyacinth that grow quickly and are effective at removing nutrients are cultivated inside this little pond in planters or are allowed to float freely on the surface of the water.

Pea gravel is the optimum substrate for the plants to root in, thus the plant filter should preferably be coated with roughly two inches’ worth of the material.

Pea gravel serves as a substrate for beneficial microorganisms while also capturing detritus that may be present.

These plants, as they expand, are able to “out-compete” algae by absorbing nutrients found in the water and therefore limiting the growth of the algae.

The plant filter should, as a general rule, be supplied with plants that equal about 1/5th of the perimeter of the main pond.

3. Ultraviolet (UV) Clarifiers

UV clarifiers eliminate green water by subjecting single-celled algae floating in the water to very high concentrations of ultraviolet radiation, which inhibits the algae’s capacity to reproduce.

A tubular fluorescent bulb that produces UV light is the component that makes up UV clarifier units.

A dark and opaque housing surrounds the light bulb since exposure to UV radiation may cause damage to the human eye.

As the water travels through a mechanical filter and/or a biological filter on its way back into the pond, any pollutants that were present in the water are eliminated.

In addition, since your turtle will benefit from the UV lights, installing these clarifiers in your turtle pond will be of great assistance to you.

4. High Quality Fish Meal

Because high-quality fish meal will be completely digested by the fish, this will assist inhibit the formation of algae by reducing the amount of nutrients that are excreted via the fish’s digestive tract.

5. String Algae Removal Using a Garden Hose, a Hand, or a Net

Since string algae is resistant to UV clarifiers, pond caretakers must either employ a garden hose to blow it away from rocks and waterfalls, or they must manually or mechanically remove it.

How Can I Improve My Turtle Pond?

You should make sure the following things are in plac along with above mentioned in your turtle pond in order to improve its quality.

When these things are taken care of, the pond in which your turtle friend lives will be the ideal environment for him:

See also  Can Alligators Or Crocodiles Eat Turtles?

1. Appropriate Size & Depth:

Your pond should have a capacity of at least 50 gallons, this will ensure that the turtles have enough space to swim without being hampered and will aid in maintaining the quality of the water.

Because increased surface area will assist in the improvement of oxygen levels in the pond water, the more surface area there is, the better.

The water in a turtle pond ought to be at least as deep as the animals that live there. For instance, certain species of turtles, such as the red-eared slider, prefer deeper pools, whereas other species of turtles prefer shallower ponds.

In any case, it is essential to have a combination of slopes and different depths of water.

2. Basking Areas:

It is essential to provide your turtle with a plank or sunbathing platform so it may climb out of the water and sun itself.

The turtle should be able to reach the basking spot quickly, it should be exposed to sunlight for the most of the day, and it should be somewhat submerged.

3. Proper Ambience:

Depending on the weather conditions where you live, it may be difficult to keep an aquatic turtle outside during the whole year.

Therefore, it is essential that you take into consideration the typical range of temperature of any turtle that you intend on bringing to the water garden or pond that you have.

For instance, red-eared sliders are very resilient and can adapt to a wide variety of environmental conditions. In order to live, some kinds of turtles need conditions that are warmer.

In regions with milder winters, some species of turtles are able to spend the whole year outside, whereas others will hibernate in the open air in a body of water.

4. Area of Land:

Because turtles like moving about on land, you should provide them with some space outside the pond to do so.

5. Areas to Hide:

Turtles need a variety of hiding spots, some of which must be on land while others must be in water. It is beneficial to have large, leafy plants both in the land and in the water.

6. Adiitoin of Fish

You will be able to add feeder guppies and goldfish to bigger ponds, which your turtle will be able to hunt down.

This is one of the primary benefits of having a larger pond. Having said that, turtles may be quite aggressive predators at occasions, and they may even attempt to grab bigger fish like koi, which can result in serious injury for the turtle.

7. Protection and Assurance:

Outside ponds where turtles are housed need to have a barrier that is at least two to three times as high as the turtles’ shells.

It is recommended that the fence be driven six to ten inches into the ground in order to improve its stability and prevent the animals from burrowing under it.

This barrier is intended to assist keep attackers out of the pond while also preventing turtles from escaping.


There is no such thing as a perfectly clean pond, nor is there such a thing as a pond that is completely free of algae.

However, if the turtle pond is cleaned properly and routinely in an environment that is well-balanced, it is possible to maintain its pristine appearance and keep algae under control.

It is sufficient to have an understanding of the process, follow it up with treatment that is tailored to the particular contaminant that is there, and then you will have a healthy atmosphere.

UV clarifiers and other algae eliminators are both useful tools for addressing existing algae problems and preventing new ones from occurring.

However, you should not disregard natural resources. The installation of plants must be an component of the long-term approach for the maintenance of a clean turtle pond.

Sharing is caring!

About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


This site is owned and operated by Muntaseer Rahman. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.